Michigan athletics donor Tim Smith denies his involvement in the NCAA’s investigation into the university’s advance scouting scheme and believes that those in power are searching for a “scapegoat” to blame, he tells Yahoo Sports.
Smith, a Michigan alum and CEO of a Detroit-based engineering solutions company, said fans and university associates are identifying him as the Michigan booster who allegedly helped fund former UM staff member Connor Stalions’ in-person scouting and sign-stealing scheme. Yahoo Sports reported earlier Friday that evidence from the NCAA’s investigation, presented this week to Michigan, refers to an athletics donor — “Uncle T” — as having partially funded Stalions’ venture.
“I can give you good news,” Smith said during a 30-minute phone call with Yahoo Sports. “I don’t recognize being known as ‘Uncle T’ and I will refute that myself. I never funded Connor. To say I knew him is perhaps overstating it. I said hi to him. I’ve spoken to him more since he left Michigan to make sure the young man is OK.”
Smith is being targeted, along with Stalions, as a “fall guy” in the NCAA’s probe into the school, Smith said. Both of them are being “thrown under the bus,” he said. On Friday morning, for instance, officials from the school’s name, image and likeness collective, Champions Circle, dismissed Smith as a member, he tells Yahoo Sports.
He received the notification in text form.
“They didn’t even have the balls to call me,” he said.
They evicted him from the group “because they said that this could bring bad light to other members of the Champions Circle,” Smith said.
Smith has spoken to Stalions multiple times since he resigned from the university after news of the scheme emerged. Smith said that the two are not close and that he knew him “as well…
Source link : https://sports.yahoo.com/michigan-booster-tim-smith-denies-being-uncle-t-who-allegedly-funded-connor-stalions-sign-stealing-scheme-202933063.html
Publish date : 2023-11-17 20:29:33
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